Comprehensive guidance plan - Education Essay Example

Comprehensive guidance plan

Introduction

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Mission Statement

        A Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling program can be described as a designed set of components including a counseling curriculum, responsive services, individual planning, and systems support. It is developmental in design to provide planned activities that meet the needs of children and adolescents as they grow and progress from one grade level to the next. As an integral part of each school’s total educational program, qualified school counselors jointly plan with classroom teachers, administrators, community members, business/industry representatives, and parents and families for the delivery of guidance activities. Guidance and Counseling is the provision of those specialized activities that assist students in identifying, planning, and attaining those goals consistent with their aptitudes, needs, abilities, and interests.   This program is designed to address the needs of all students by helping them to acquire and apply knowledge of self and others, develop competencies in career/life planning, and achieve educational success.
The development and implementation of the school’s guidance plan is a whole school responsibility. It should involve the guidance counselors in the first instance, as well as all other relevant members of management and staff of the school. Parents and students must be seen as an essential part of this process and representatives of the local community, especially local business.

           While the guidance counselors have the primary responsibility for the delivery of the school’s guidance program, other members of staff have a part to play in implementing the plan. These activities begin with the induction of incoming students into second level education. Some students may experience this transition as a traumatic time in their young lives and may need continuing support well into the first term1. The more familiar incoming students are with the second level school, the easier will be their induction into the new system. Activities such as exploratory visits to the second level school, taster classes for students and information sessions for parents can contribute to dispelling doubts and uncertainties as well as helping the development of the confidence of the incoming students.

       It is important that students and their parents are clear about the role and functions of the various members of staff concerned with aspects of student support, such as the guidance counselors, chaplain etc. It can help if the names and the different roles of support team members are explained to incoming first year students and their parents. This contributes to the elimination of confusion and helps to ensure that both students and their parents know who to approach for information, support or help when needs arise. The principal and his deputy principal and teachers of first year students together with the guidance counselor should look forward to participate as far as possible in contacts between the school and the primary schools from which their students come. The school, through the planning process, makes decisions regarding the provision of guidance using the professional expertise of management, guidance counselors and other members of staff and taking into account the views of students, parents and other partners. It is important that the school guidance plan should balance the needs of all junior and senior cycle students in a sequential, developmental and comprehensive way, including those with special educational needs.

  Personal counseling services are generally available to students upon request. Guidance is available through counselors, academic advisors, faculty members, and staff of career planning/placement offices in the following areas: career awareness, career planning, career decision-making, placement activities, and knowledge/understanding of occupational, educational, and labor market needs, trends and opportunities.

Guidance Plan aims to –

a)          State the objectives and priorities of the provision of guidance;

b)           Enhance the provision of guidance by targeting the needs of the pupils;

c)          Focus the schools resources where they are most needed.

d)           Address the needs of students at varying stages of the secondary school cycle.

e)           Provide a comprehensive counseling service for the school community.

       The Sunny Town School District aims to provide academic excellence through proper guidance of its students. This becomes an avenue for holistic growth that is achieved not only by intellectual development but by creating a wholesome environment where learning is nurtured every day. Being a highly diverse community, Sunny Town believes that students can learn from each others’ backgrounds and enjoy unity that can help themselves and the community as a whole. The mission of the School District is to provide all children with the opportunity to fully develop their academic and creative potential and to assist them in becoming mature, humane, responsible and productive members of society.(Sunny town School District, 2007)

               This assignment requires me to come up with a guidance plan acting in the shoes of the director of the program. With this responsibility some of the duties entrusted to me include

Designing a workable plan guided by the objectives preset by the district school.
Making sure that the students’ needs assessment is conducted with all involved parties to         help determine areas of priority for Program development as evidenced by documented assessment results.
I should also ensures that the Program provides for the development of student competencies in the areas of Career Planning and Exploration, Knowledge of Self and Others, and Educational/Career-Technical Development as evidenced by the guidance program plan.
Ensuring that the Program Components of Guidance Curriculum, Individual Planning, Responsive Services, and Systems Support are implemented in order to provide a full range of activities to enhance student learning and preparation for future success as evidenced by the guidance program plan.
Making sure that the Program is delivered to all K-12 students in each building appropriate to each developmental level as evidenced by the existence of all four comprehensive guidance programmatic components in each building.
Insisting that the Program is evaluated to determine progress and to set continuous improvement goals as evidenced by documented. .
The school’s Counseling Service and the Guidance Plan is in keeping with its Religious and Educational Philosophy and reflects in its aim the school vision statement to educate students for:-

Personal Integrity
Helping them to develop a core value system; challenging them to live these values in a community context.
Self Worth / Self Esteem
Includes the intrinsic worth of self and others; by giving experience of success, academic or otherwise; maximizing opportunities for students to develop skills, aptitudes and abilities.
Community and Social Responsibility
Developing their sense of personal accountability to self and others
Participation
Maximizing the appropriate involvement of all parents, students, teachers and management, in the school community
Justice / Honesty
Developing in the student’s critical understanding and a sense of responsibility for the community and the universal common good

Developing in the students the capacity to think independently and to have the self-confidence to manage the future, (work, relationships etc.).
Wonder
To let students have a sense of awe and a questioning stance about self, life and the created universe.

The goals of each grade level are discussed as follows

Every effort should be made by schools to draw on the knowledge, experience and contacts of all staff members in providing the best possible guidance program for students, for example:

subject teachers are best placed to provide students with information and expertise on both the content and demands of their particular subject(s) syllabus
subject teachers have a key role to play when students are choosing subjects and levels for the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations
subject teachers may also be in a position to indicate to senior cycle students the content and study commitments of particular subjects in further and higher education courses
the expertise of the subject teachers, learning support teacher and/or resource teacher, guidance counselors and program co-coordinators can combine to assist students in choosing the most appropriate, for them, of the educational programs offered by the school

Teachers may have close links with community agencies and local businesses and, therefore, may be well placed to help individual students benefit from contact with these bodies for activities such as work experience or working with their local communities, as part of their guidance program.

We came up with goals and objectives particular to each level as described below. the activities the students are supposed to engage in at each level are also discussed  forthwith

·  Elementary K-5.

Students in junior cycle must prepare for State examinations for the first time. They are also faced with making subject and program choices that will have implications for their career choice. In addition to the activities outlined in the section of this document on Guidance in Second Level Schools, the program should aim to give junior cycle students the opportunity to acquire the following:

understanding of their strengths and weaknesses
study skills, including time management
examination techniques
awareness of the implications of subject selection and levels therein for career choice
awareness of the need to consider all subject options including non-traditional subjects

The school guidance program throughout junior cycle should enable students to begin their exploration of career options. The program should encourage consideration of a wide range of educational, training and career choices, not bounded by traditional considerations of gender or social stereotyping.

The guidance program should begin the process of linking students’ aptitudes, achievements and interests to career options. Activities to support this could include:

the encouragement of students in first and second year to explore a range of educational and career areas including non-traditional careers
project work and team work as a means towards group discussion on career opportunities
information on the competencies and skills required for the working world, including employability skills
During the junior cycle, students and their parents need to be assisted to understand the implications of choices of specific subjects and levels taken, on the range of further study and career options available to them in the future. Ideally, such information should be incorporated into the teaching of these subjects. Where the level of provision by the school of certain subjects or timetable constraints limit a student’s options, it is essential that parents and students should be informed of the possible implications as early as possible. For example, under current conditions students should know that:

higher level mathematics is a requirement for most honors’ degree courses in engineering
Laboratory science subject is a requirement for all medical and most paramedical courses and higher level chemistry is a requirement for some specific medical and paramedical courses in a number of third level institutions.
The program at this stage aims to assess the needs of the individual student.  It also monitors student progress. As the entry point of students, this level aims to develop self-concept, study skills, goal-setting and achievement. Guidance activities will include exercises on time management, making tasks, independent work, teamwork, occupations, planning and managing stress and conflict, among others. Language learning is also required and should be monitored closely. This is an important level in a student’s life as it creates the foundation for future goals.

           Middle School 6-8.

·       Students are encouraged to develop their full range of intelligences through a greater variety of activities than is available in the other years of second level education.

·     Students should be facilitated in developing and progressing their career plans. Through ongoing exploration and feedback they should develop a growing understanding of their skills, aptitudes and achievements. The work experience/ shadowing module should provide each student with the opportunity to participate in a structured work experience/shadowing program, and in structured and detailed debriefing sessions.

·    The goals for the middle school are not entirely different. It is, in fact, a continuation of the learning acquired in the elementary level. On the other hand, this level has activities that are focused on exploring the deeper concepts of self, of learning, career planning, peer, conflict management, problem solving and decision making. By this time, students already have wider English vocabulary. Thus, social skills can be nurtured especially within multicultural teams.

                               High School 9-12.

      Successful guidance at this level requires an environment that facilitates students in developing an understanding of themselves, their values and their future adult roles. The guidance program at senior cycle should assist students to continue to develop a range of self-management skills, including the ability to access information concerning further study and career options. To enable students to gain the maximum benefits from the guidance program in the senior cycle, it is recommended that the following should be included:

the provision of access to information prepared by public agencies and employers regarding career opportunities
the provision of information about further and higher education and training courses, including entry requirements, course content, workload and progression routes
the provision of opportunities for students to attend events such as college open days, career exhibitions, visits to employers. Such activities require careful planning, management and follow-up, in order to ensure that students get maximum benefit from them
meetings with relevant role-models such as former students and parents to discuss their chosen career paths
the organization of mock interview sessions.

The K-12 level is focused on developing the skills acquired from elementary and high school, as well as more activities on planning. Essentially, students in this level will need guidance on career preparation. Thus, activities on communication skills, productivity, and cooperation are needed. Employability is a key element that students in this level need to acquire as well.

The guidance staff consists of a psychologist, a school counselor, and two social workers who are here to serve their students in many different ways. In addition to keeping student files updated, the School Counselor assists with scheduling and orientation.  All students may meet with a counselor at any time.  Students and parents are encouraged to contact the guidance staff any time they have questions about scheduling and/or placement, or if they are concerned about academic performance, psychological or social issues.  The guidance office can also provide parents with information about resources for a variety of special needs.  This may include summer programs, accelerated programs, contacting tutors, academic support, mentoring, and peer mediation.

      Having come up with goals and objectives for each school the next step involved coming up with ways to achieve those goals. The team of counselors came up with the following activities for each of the schools that were to help us get to our goals. The execution of the activities involved not only the board but also the students.

K-5

      Develop and Maintain District Wide Curricular and Special Programs Teams with
Development, standards, programs, and ongoing assessments/data-based monitoring and improvements. This will help the student develop several positives that are vital for him. Such include public relations. In a program that involves going out of school to collect data in groups the student may learn how to organize themselves and work as a team to finish their work.

In this level, several lessons on language development need to be insisted on given that this is only the first step in developing the way these students communicate. At this stage they need to engage in forums that will force them to talk more in English rather than their mother tongue. Such will include class room debates and educative forums.

The students must also be encouraged to develop interest in English by trying to listen to radio programs and reading materials in English. This will develop their understanding of the language.

6-8

         Most of the activities in this level are quite similar to those engaged in the previous one. However more demanding activities like essay and report writing should be introduced. After carrying out field studies the students should present their findings in form of written essays and reports for assessment. Writing of these documents will definitely improve on the students’ scope of the new language.

Higher school 9-12

         Establish a Special Funding and Research Coordinator Position. This will help to further develop the students’ scope of the language in one way or another. In some cases the students may come up with articles to put in their school magazines. In cases where the school does not have a school magazines the funds sourced by the coordinator from the counselors will help them produce a magazine. The coordinator  is then supposed to maintain clear accounts of expenditure to be presented to the board
Establish a Grade-Card Evaluation, five-year plan with strategic long-range continuous planning to raise the graduation rate, employment status of graduates, and decrease the numbers of individuals ages 21-64 who are becoming employment related individuals with disabilities after leaving public school.
Coming up with a school day where students from different schools meet and discuss matters related to English. Examples of topics to be deliberated on include: “Partnerships…Families, Children, Schools, Community….United to make a Difference in the lives of Children, Families, Communities, Nation, and World.” When students not used to seeing each other, meet and discuss issues in English, a language they have only recently learnt then it shows that they have been learning and not buying time.
Conclusion

            the aim of the program was to provide all student’s with an equal and quality educational opportunities that will enable them to be prepared for life beyond public school and able to reach their potential in the pursuit of their ambitions, dreams, work, and have an understanding of ways and/or connections to resources that will enable them to maximize their overall quality of life and health. With the coming up of goals and ways to achieve them will surely help to improve the education standards in this town.

Bibliography

Public Schools of North Carolina. 2001. Comprehensive School Counseling.  Retrieved from http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/curriculum/guidance/scos/programofstudy/guidance.pdfon 26th March 2009

Career Guidance and Public Policy: Bridging the Gap OECD: Paris, 2004

 

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